Undergoing orthodontic treatment makes you and your teeth more susceptible to specific dental issues. This is because the transition to taking great care of your teeth through metal brackets and wires can be challenging. The good news is that many of these dental disasters can be avoided entirely with the right treatment recommendations and maintaining excellent oral hygiene habits.
The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene With Braces
Exceptional oral hygiene isn’t just about making sure your teeth are as white and bright as possible. Avoiding common dental disasters like gingivitis, tartar buildup and demineralization is the reason why taking care of your teeth while wearing braces is so vital. Oral hygiene is also more difficult when wearing braces, and you’re much more prone to developing an issue while undergoing orthodontic treatment. If left untreated, these dental problems can quickly turn into more serious health issues, and prolong your treatment time.
Avoiding certain foods that can cause significant damage to your braces will help to prevent any appliance issues during treatment. Avoid any foods that can break your hardware and also any foods that easily get stuck in your teeth.
The most common appliance issues during treatment are:
- Loose brackets – Many patients will get a loose bracket at some point during their treatment. Apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to the bracket until you get to our office to have the bracket reattached.
- Loose bands or spacers – Only a professional can secure them in place or replace them. Do not attempt to repair the bands on your own.
- Protruding or broken wires – Broken wires can poke you in the cheek or other areas of your mouth, causing severe discomfort. Do not attempt to cut the wire on your own; a professional must complete the process.
It is difficult to clean your teeth while wearing braces, and this leads to an increased risk of cavities developing. Metal brackets and wires placed onto your teeth create spaces where food, bacteria, and plaque can quickly become trapped. Avoiding cavities can be easy with the right tools to help you clean your teeth during orthodontic treatment. We recommend patients with braces use specially designed brushes and tools to clean around brackets and wires, and that you take extra time to make sure you are getting a thorough clean each time you brush.
One of the most common problems that can occur with braces is staining and discoloration. Since cleaning your teeth with braces can be difficult, many patients end up with a white spot where the bracket was attached to the surface of the tooth, leaving the rest of the tooth to look yellow in comparison when the braces are removed. These spots should fade with time, and whitening products can help to remove any surface stains once the braces are off.
This condition occurs when acid attacks your teeth. Patients who suffer from acid reflux or eat foods that are high in acidic value are at a higher risk for demineralization to occur. Extreme sensitivity due to the broken-down enamel is also a common side effect.
Orthodontic patients have an increased risk for developing gum disease because it is difficult to clean around the gums. This condition typically occurs as a result of bacteria building up along the gumline, and if left untreated, the situation can worsen and lead to gum and tooth loss. Symptoms of gum disease are inflammation, bleeding, and irritation of the gum tissue.
When the underlying layer of your teeth becomes exposed as a result of receding gum tissue, it can lead to sensitivity. Anyone can suffer from sensitivity, but patients with braces can be especially susceptible. Braces are more difficult to clean around, and poor oral care can lead to an irritated or receding gum line.
A combination of poor nutrition and poor oral hygiene can quickly lead to bad breath. We recommend patients have their teeth professionally cleaned several times a year during orthodontic treatment to remove plaque and bacteria.
We’re Here To Help
We understand that several common dental issues can accompany orthodontic treatment, but you can successfully straighten your smile without any significant issues. Most of the problems patients experience with during braces are entirely preventable by eating nutritious meals, cutting down on your sugar intake, and taking good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing.
To learn more about how to prevent any other dental disasters during treatment, schedule a consultation with Thomas Orthodontics.